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GMAT Prep 740 - 770, Actual 710. Advice? Real GMAT harder than mocks?

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GMAT Prep 740 - 770, Actual 710. Advice? Real GMAT harder than mocks?  [#permalink]

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New post 22 May 2019, 16:49
I recently took the GMAT and got: 710 (Q:48, V:39). Was very disappointed.

Is it me, or the actual GMAT much harder than the GMAT prep packs #3-6 practice tests?

Prep I've done:
I've done 3 revisions+ with error logs of all OG and Verbal Review questions (1000+ questions)
I've gone through E-GMAT SC and CR course, I don't feel necessarily weak in SC or CR or RC.. I got a 770 (Q50, V47) on my GMAT prep test #5, with actual test conditions..

Scores simulating real test conditions
GMAT Prep #1 Retake 2: 760
GMAT Prep #2 Retake 2: 750
MGMAT #3: 690 (Q48, V36)

GMAT Prep #3: 740 (Q50, V39)
GMAT Prep #4: 750 (Q50, V41)
GMAT Prep #5: 770 (Q50, V47) - I did feel the 47 was fluke, got a few lucky guesses, but still 770 -> 710 on actual?

It was the last 3 practice tests that I took for 1st time that gave me confidence to sign up and take it..
Math on the actual test felt considerably harder than the practice tests, like equivalent of MGMAT level, and verbal I had to make a few guesses between 2 close choices, so maybe that's enough to knock my score?

I have never gotten lower than Q49 on any of the official mocks or real GMAT test (taken twice before), this was the first time.. if anything I feel like the MGMAT test was more accurate than the official mocks..

If you have any advice much appreciated. Tempted to get ESR, (I got it last time, but it felt like a waste of $30, didn't tell me much)

Not sure how I go about studying, I'm typically a good test taker, I didn't get nervous on the test.. but I did have to make educated guesses on verbal and math on this test because time was ticking..(few questions I never saw before on any of the ~1500 questions I've done..). Have studied so far for 6 months.. It's like I know I can score 750+, but struggling with the how
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GMAT Prep 740 - 770, Actual 710. Advice? Real GMAT harder than mocks?  [#permalink]

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New post 23 May 2019, 01:24
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Taking a practice test at home is different from taking the actual test in a test center. Several test takers experience stress and anxiety under testing conditions. I have been in the same boat: consistently scored above 750 in practice tests but end up with a modest 720 on the real GMAT. 30-40 point difference is not surprising but upward of 60 points decrease must be introspected.
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Re: GMAT Prep 740 - 770, Actual 710. Advice? Real GMAT harder than mocks?  [#permalink]

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New post 23 May 2019, 08:44
Plandrive wrote:
I recently took the GMAT and got: 710 (Q:48, V:39). Was very disappointed.

Is it me, or the actual GMAT much harder than the GMAT prep packs #3-6 practice tests?
The actual GMAT does have a much larger pool of questions available to it. The algorithm adjusts for question difficulty, but I'd have to say that the paid practice tests generate scores that are slightly less reliable than the free tests do.

That said, the scores you got on your practice tests seem to be quite accurate (ignore the 770 and ignore the retakes). Maybe time management was a problem this time around? It certainly seems as if you had to change your approach during this attempt.

Finally, a quick word on why I said that we should ignore the 770. It is generally a good idea to remove the outliers, and that is pretty much it. I don't mean to imply that you can't get a 770.
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Re: GMAT Prep 740 - 770, Actual 710. Advice? Real GMAT harder than mocks?  [#permalink]

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New post 23 May 2019, 10:37
Plandrive wrote:
I recently took the GMAT and got: 710 (Q:48, V:39). Was very disappointed.

Is it me, or the actual GMAT much harder than the GMAT prep packs #3-6 practice tests?

Prep I've done:
I've done 3 revisions+ with error logs of all OG and Verbal Review questions (1000+ questions)
I've gone through E-GMAT SC and CR course, I don't feel necessarily weak in SC or CR or RC.. I got a 770 (Q50, V47) on my GMAT prep test #5, with actual test conditions..

Scores simulating real test conditions
GMAT Prep #1 Retake 2: 760
GMAT Prep #2 Retake 2: 750
MGMAT #3: 690 (Q48, V36)

GMAT Prep #3: 740 (Q50, V39)
GMAT Prep #4: 750 (Q50, V41)
GMAT Prep #5: 770 (Q50, V47) - I did feel the 47 was fluke, got a few lucky guesses, but still 770 -> 710 on actual?

It was the last 3 practice tests that I took for 1st time that gave me confidence to sign up and take it..
Math on the actual test felt considerably harder than the practice tests, like equivalent of MGMAT level, and verbal I had to make a few guesses between 2 close choices, so maybe that's enough to knock my score?

I have never gotten lower than Q49 on any of the official mocks or real GMAT test (taken twice before), this was the first time.. if anything I feel like the MGMAT test was more accurate than the official mocks..

If you have any advice much appreciated. Tempted to get ESR, (I got it last time, but it felt like a waste of $30, didn't tell me much)

Not sure how I go about studying, I'm typically a good test taker, I didn't get nervous on the test.. but I did have to make educated guesses on verbal and math on this test because time was ticking..(few questions I never saw before on any of the ~1500 questions I've done..). Have studied so far for 6 months.. It's like I know I can score 750+, but struggling with the how


Congrtas on your 710 score. You have a scope to improve your quant score, It will help you to get deisred score. Try TTP or MathRevoultion
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Re: GMAT Prep 740 - 770, Actual 710. Advice? Real GMAT harder than mocks?  [#permalink]

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New post 23 May 2019, 17:31
Hi Plandrive,

I’m sorry to hear how things went with your GMAT. The good news is that 710 is not a bad starting point, right? That said, I understand that you are not satisfied with that score, so the question we need to ask is why you scored so high on your practice exams but lower on the real GMAT.

Assuming that you took your official practice exams under realistic testing conditions, the results show that on a good day, you are capable of scoring higher than 710. Thus, it’s quite possible that nerves, stress, tiredness, or a combination of all three negatively affected your test-day performance. However, it’s also possible that you have some lingering weaknesses that were exposed on test day. Although I’m unsure of how you prepared, it’s possible that in your preparation, particularly in verbal, you did not really learn to do what you have to do in order to score high on the actual GMAT. Rather, you picked up on some patterns that were effective in getting you relatively high scores on practice tests. So, for you to hit your score goal, your preparation, particularly for verbal, probably needs to be more complete, meaning that you have to go through the various types of GMAT questions carefully to find your exact weaknesses, fill gaps in your knowledge, and strengthen your skills. The overall process will be to learn all about how to answer question types with which you currently aren't very comfortable and do dozens of practice questions category by category, basically driving up your score point by point. When you do dozens of questions of the same type one after the other, you learn just what it takes to get questions of that type correct consistently. If you aren't getting close to 90 percent of questions of a certain type correct, go back and seek to better understand how that type of question works, and then do more questions of that type until you get to around at least 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better.

For verbal specifically, you have to become more skilled at clearly defining the differences between trap choices and correct answers. Otherwise, as you experienced, you will get stuck guessing between two choices or be surprised to find that you incorrectly answered questions that you thought you answered correctly. Becoming more skilled in this way takes carefully analyzing all of the answer choices to lots of verbal questions to develop an eye for the logical differences between the choices. In other words, you have to go beyond answering practice questions and reading explanations to doing deep analysis of questions to learn to see everything that is going on in them.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new quant and verbal materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses. You also may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

If you’d like more specific advice on how to improve your quant and verbal skills, feel free to reach back out. Good luck!
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Re: GMAT Prep 740 - 770, Actual 710. Advice? Real GMAT harder than mocks?  [#permalink]

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New post 23 May 2019, 20:33
IMO it was just a bad day

Analyze your ESR and try to work over the weak areas, and attempt the exam again!
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Re: GMAT Prep 740 - 770, Actual 710. Advice? Real GMAT harder than mocks?  [#permalink]

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New post 24 May 2019, 12:29
Hey guys, thank you for the responses. Very helpful. I can admit that there were a few quant questions that stumped me on the test.

With verbal, SC is probably the weakest. With 650+ SC questions, I have trouble sometimes when down to the last 2 answers with some questions. My accuracy goes from 90% to maybe 60-70%. The issue with these though is that even the experts seem to struggle / have clear and the same reasoning as each other on the GMAT Forums for the hard official SC questions. Those are the type of SC questions I had to guess on.

Edit: Just kidding, I ended up buying ESR. Percentiles:
CR: 63rd Percentile (50% correct on both types of questions)
RC: 95th Percentile (apparently got every single RC question right.. no wonder I felt so good about verbal)
SC: 79th Percentile (60% correct on grammar, 85% on communication)
Took avg of 2:05 min on CR questions

Seems like of 31 quant questions, only 3 are experimental. I missed 3 questions in last 7 of questions of quant... 2 questions in middle 2 sections, and 1 question in beginning. Total of 8 missed of 28 that count. Math Geometry 50% correct.... really...

Yup I really think quant on actual test is much harder than practice tests? Gonna have to use MGMAT and GMATClub maybe. I didn't really like Math Revolution, any recommendations for Q48/Q49 -> Q51?

Any recommendations for 650+ CR practice questions? and 700+ SC questions?
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Re: GMAT Prep 740 - 770, Actual 710. Advice? Real GMAT harder than mocks?  [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2019, 17:30
Hi Plandrive,

To improve in both quant and verbal, I agree that you likely need some additional resources. Have you had a chance to look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best verbal and quant courses? Also, you should spend some time in the “share your GMAT experience” section to see what has worked for other test-takers.

If you need more detailed advice on how to improve your CR and quant skills, feel free to reach back out.

Good luck!
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Re: GMAT Prep 740 - 770, Actual 710. Advice? Real GMAT harder than mocks?   [#permalink] 28 May 2019, 17:30
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